I finally took sick leave last Thurs and Fri to go see the doctor, get medicine & MC and rest at home. I have been struggling to recover from an initial bout of cough, sore throat and cold but still going to the office. Not because I’m hardworking but because I don’t like staying at home by myself. However, when the illness developed into a secondary and more serious infection, I took my wife’s advice to visit the doctor, take medicine and recover at home for the last 2 working days of the week.
This gave me 4 days of consecutive rest including the weekend. Just what I needed to finally start making a full recovery. I’m glad I listened to my wife’s advice. Only she knows how to get through to me when I’m being stupid. This really could have been a lot worse. As much as I dislike being at home doing nothing, I didn’t realise how much I needed this. I ended up spending most of the 2 days of sick leave sleeping on the sofa near the balcony to get natural air and ventilation instead of using the air-con.
It’s a first for me. Taking 2 consecutive days of sick leave. It’s a sign of me getting older. I fall sick more easily and take longer to get better. The body just can’t take the same amount of punishment and bounce back as easily anymore. I’m glad I have sufficient cover at work to be able to do this. In my previous job, I would have had to do some form of work even when I’m on sick leave. That’s what life was like in an accounting firm. In my current job, I was able to switch off totally for both days. Something that I am so grateful for.
Maybe this is the norm for most of you but I’m just thankful nobody bothered me when I was resting at home. Lying on the sofa also gave me time to think about stuff. What can I say. The body is weak and recovering but the mind is still somewhat active and wondering. First, I was annoyed at how switched off, short-tempered and helpless I was from being sick. At least my wife could still go to work and make her drinks & dinner gatherings with friends while checking in with me occasionally. I didn’t want her to have to take care of me or worse, fall sick and disrupt her plans for the week.
Second, I tried pin-pointing how exactly did I get myself into this situation. I was exercising regularly, watching what I ate, making an effort to sleep more. Maybe it wasn’t enough or maybe it was just the weather changes. I blame the latter for my personal shortcomings way too often. It was probably a combination of dumb decisions I made, especially the one where I didn’t wait until I was full recovered from the first round of illness before pushing myself. You see, when it comes back as a second round to bite you, it’s usually a lot worse. Something I need to be more aware of and take note.
Third, the importance of spousal support. I didn’t lose any income from taking sick leave, which is paid. And I had my wife, who continued working and monitored my condition while living her own life. Having some one watch out for you when you are down is a nice feeling. You worry less, and not surprisingly, recover faster. The positive impact a well-rested mind can have on the body never ceases to amaze me. I can only imagine what’s it like to be sick and lose income while having dependents to support by yourself.
Fourth, I’m finally in a job that I can take time off for annual and sick leave with sufficient cover and support by my colleagues at work. I didn’t have this in my previous job at an accounting firm. Client demands on short notice were constant and getting away wasn’t easy. It still meant you had to be contactable. A work culture cultivated by my previous boss. As much as I appreciated learning from him as a tax partner with all his technical and industry knowledge, I have held this against him for the longest time. This was seen as an expectation without the recognition and reward.
It’s one of the main reasons why most of the working relationships my previous team had with him disintegrated after I left. They have all moved on to other firms except for my previous manager, who had the biggest conflict with him. No idea why she’s still there but I suspect it’s due to personal circumstances. The rest of us have been encouraging her for a while to leave for another job elsewhere but this is probably easier said than done for her.
It’s time for me to go back to work tomorrow. Can’t say I miss it. And I’m sure there’s loads to catch up on after missing 2 days of work last week. But I am looking forward to getting out of the apartment to be busy with something and interact with people. I don’t mind being alone when I’m trying to figure stuff out. But I don’t like being alone for an extended period of time. It sucks and feels like I’m talking to myself all the time. Not good for the mind. I’m glad to be back.